Renters in Scotland revealed as among those most at risk from dangerous gas appliances after unsafe heaters and boilers are found in 18% of rented accommodation
Despite landlords being responsible for making sure that all gas appliances provided by them are safety checked every year by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer, more than a third in the UK (37%) are unaware of their duty of care.
In fact, one in seven landlords (15%) think gas appliance safety is the responsibility of their local council, according to new research by the Gas Safe Register.
As a result, Gas Safe Register is urging landlords, homeowners and renters to understand where responsibility lies when it comes to gas safety.
Unsafe gas appliances have been found in nearly one fifth (18%) of privately-rented accommodation in Scotland, making it one of the most dangerous areas in the UK.
Scotland is behind only the West Midlands, Wales and the East of England in terms of the proportion of inspections which found unsafe gas appliances.
Investigation data spanning five years by Gas Safe Register reveals that throughout the UK, gas heaters are the most dangerous appliance in rented accommodation, accounting for the majority (59%) of all unsafe appliances.
One in six renters in Scotland (15%) are unaware their boiler should be safety checked annually, and two thirds of this group (10%) don’t think their boiler has been inspected this year.
Jonathan Samuel, managing director for Gas Safe Register, said: “Gas safety can be a matter of life or death. The findings from the 3,399 inspections carried out by our team in Scotland over the last five years show us that more unsafe appliances have been found in rented accommodation in this region than in almost any other part of the UK.
“We are urging renters, homeowners and landlords alike to make sure they know to get gas appliances checked on an annual basis and, as a legal requirement, to ‘trust the triangle’ by using a Gas Safe registered engineer.”
Independent expert Dominic Littlewood said: “With winter fast approaching, more and more people will be switching on their central heating. If they are not properly maintained, they can kill.
“It is the law for every landlord in the country to get an annual check to make sure their tenants are gas safe, but whoever you are and wherever you live, gas safety should be on your radar. Get your gas appliances checked every year – the only way to do this within the law is to use an appropriately qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. Be safe as well as warm this winter.”
Homeowners are also confused about where responsibility lies in ensuring their property is ‘gas safe’. Only half (49%) of homeowners nationally realise it is their responsibly, while one in seven (14%) viewing gas safety as within the remit of the gas provider.
Gas Safe Register offers the following tips for gas safety:
Check appliances annually – an annual gas safety check reminder service can be found via www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk
Learn the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – although carbon monoxide (CO) has no smell, taste or colour, symptoms of poisoning include: headaches; dizziness; nausea; breathlessness; collapse and loss of consciousness – all of which can be mistaken for something else.
Recognise the signs of unsafe gas appliance – these include: a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame; soot or staining on or around the appliance; excess condensation in the room.
To find out about dangers in your area, and to find a Gas Safe registered engineer call 0800 408 5500 or visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.
If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999